Getting your dogs out into nature is awesome… until it isn’t.
Pups enjoy a good walk and sniffing all the plants along the way.
But, did you know that some of those plants can be toxic to our furry friends?
Let’s have a look at the types of plants that you should keep your dog away from and how to tell if your dog has come into contact with a plant they shouldn’t have.
Are Some Plants Toxic To Dogs?
Some Plants Can Be Toxic
You might not expect it, but there are many plants out there that can be harmful to your pup. The toxicity can range from mild irritation to severe symptoms, depending on which plant they come into contact with and whether they ingest it or not.
Unfortunately, these toxic plants can be quite common and are often found in a lot of Kiwi gardens, parks and outdoor spaces. So, it’s essential that you educate yourself on which plants are potentially toxic to your up.
One of the most dangerous varieties would have to be the berries from the Karaka tree. From January to April, these berries will ripen, turn orange and fall from the Karaka tree. If consumed by your dog, they can be fatal.
So, it’s best to avoid areas where these trees grow while walking your dog in summer. Luckily, the trees are quite distinctive in appearance, making them easy to spot. They have thick dark leaves and bright orange berries, and can grow up to 15m tall.
Here are some images that can help you identify them on your walks here.
List Of Plants Toxic To Dogs
While the Karaka tree is one of the most dangerous plant varieties for our furry friends, it is not the only one. According to the SPCA, these plants can also be risky:
- Black nightshade
- Wandering Dew
- Deathcap mushroom
- New Zealand tree nettle (Onga Onga)
- Daffodils (especially the bulbs)
- Ivy (some species)
- Aloe Vera
- Onions and garlic
- Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila)
- Bird of Paradise
- Tomato Plant (green fruit, stems and leaves)
- Inch Plant
- Barley Grass seeds
- Kōwhai seeds
What Can Toxic Plants Do?
The plants listed above can range in toxicity level for your doggo. They can cause a range of health issues if they come in contact with your dog's skin or if they are ingested. The severity of the symptoms will vary based on the plant, the amount of exposure, the size of your pup and their individual sensitivities.
These are some of the potential effects that these toxic plants can have on your doggo:
Upset Tummy: Lots of plants toxic to dogs can lead to tummy upsets like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. These symptoms can be mild and pass quickly, or more severe and require vet care. It all depends on the plant.
Skin Irritation: Contact with certain plants can leave your doggo with irritated skin like a rash, itchiness or even an allergic reaction. Not only are these skin irritations uncomfortable, but they can build in severity, so may require medical attention.
Breathing Problems: Inhaling or ingesting certain plant materials can lead to respiratory problems. That can include difficulty breathing or irritation in the throat and lungs.
Severe Health Issues: Certain plants even have the ability to cause neurological issues like tremors, seizures, or disorientation. Some can even attack vital organs like the heart, resulting in an irregular heartbeat, weakness or even heart failure.
Organ Damage: Some plants contain toxins that impact specific organs in your pup’s body. The common ones are the kidneys, liver or heart. Sometimes, ingesting these kinds of toxic plants can lead to organ damage in the short or long term. It can even lead to organ failure if not treated properly.
Signs Your Dog Has Experienced A Toxic Plant
To protect your pup’s health, it is important to keep them away from the plants toxic to dogs that we listed above. Carefully check your garden and the areas where your dog spends the most time. Then, be mindful when you are out walking or adventuring with your pup.
By doing these simple checks, you should be able to significantly reduce the risk to your dog. Unfortunately, you can’t completely eliminate the risk, so you should educate yourself on the potential symptoms so you can identify if your dog has come in contact with one of these plants unexpectedly.
Common signs can be:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Excessive drooling or drinking way more water than usual
- Lethargy or weakness
- Upset tummy
- Heavy panting or breathing difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in behaviour or becoming restless and agitated
- Skin irritation or visible rash
- Seizures or tremors
What To Do If You Suspect Exposure
Not all dogs will have the same reaction to a toxic plant. Some may be lucky to escape with mild symptoms, while others can suffer from severe consequences. Coming into contact with plants toxic to dogs can be fatal, so it’s vital to be vigilant.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic plant or is showing any concerning symptoms after being in contact with plants, seek immediate veterinary care. Early intervention can significantly improve the chances of a positive outcome and prevent further complications.
Keep Them Healthy
Dogs need a healthy immune system to prevent them from getting sick, regardless of what their environment contains. One of the major contributors to good health is good nutrition. So choose a balanced food that contains all the goodness they need to be happy and healthy.
Real Dog Food is the ideal choice. Formulated by pet nutritionists, our kibble is the ultimate balanced, natural and affordable dog food for your furry pals.